Posted in theology

Ground Foolishness

By Elizabeth Prata

Though you pound the fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, His foolishness still will not leave him. (Proverbs 27:22)

Photo by TheMIS Photography on Unsplash

Proverbs is interesting. I don’t usually know what they mean, though. They take time to unearth the nuggets of wisdom embedded in each and every one.

I read the verse above and it stopped me. The visual was too vivid to just pass it by.

I remember being unsaved. I was 42 or so when I was regenerated so that means I had plenty of time to sin. I was a bad sinner, sinning and sinning more. I ran from God at every opportunity. I was brought kicking and screaming to the altar of repentance when He gave me the spirit of Repentance. Finally I caved when in His kindness He showed me how evil my sin was.

I remember telling a Southern Baptist lady (who believed in altar calls and our own free will to repent) that I was brought to the altar by the scruff of the neck resisting every second. She rejected that notion outright, saying, “No you did not.”

Oh but I was. Too many people think that we float elated down an aisle, content in our ‘decision’ to repent and enter the gates of the kingdom. The fact is, we are dead in sins and it takes the strong arm of God to graciously deliver a spirit of repentance to us before we even make a move toward God. Meanwhile, just prior to the repentance, He mashes our face in our sin like a wayward puppy in our mess.

Before His deliverance to me of that spirit, the Lord saw my vicious habits and worked to ground my foolishness from me with rods and chastening. Still I persisted in my foolishness. Until the day when the Spirit came and I saw the light and entered his love instead of His wrath abiding on me.

Oh yes, He pounded this fool!

But what does the Proverb mean? Mathew Henry explains-

Solomon had said (ch. 22:15), The foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child may be driven out by the rod of correction, for then the mind is to be moulded, the vicious habits not having taken root; but here he shows that, if it be not done then, it will be next to impossible to do it afterwards; if the disease be inveterate, there is a danger of its being incurable. Can the Ethiopian change his skin?

Observe, 1. Some are so bad that rough and severe methods must be used with them, after gentle means have been tried in vain; they must be brayed in a mortar. God will take this way with them by his judgments; the magistrates must take this way with them by the rigour of the law. Force must be used with those that will not be ruled by reason, and love, and their own interest.

2. Some are so incorrigibly bad that even those rough and severe methods do not answer the end, their foolishness will not depart from them, so fully are their hearts set in them to do evil; they are often under the rod and yet not humbled, in the furnace and yet not refined, but, like Ahaz, trespass yet more (2 Chr. 28:22); and what remains then but that they should be rejected as reprobate silver?

Source: Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1017). Hendrickson.

I am GRATEFUL that His grace in HIS will decided to stop short of rejecting me as reprobate silver. I am grateful that He used force buttressed with grace to shake me from my stupor. Sisters, never forget your salvation, and do not neglect it.

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, 3how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3a)

The End Time Blog Podcast Season 2, Episode 277

Posted in theology

Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Romans 1:18-19).

What did they suppress, exactly? And where? Or how?

They, meaning unbelievers, deny in their minds that there is a God. They suppress that He made everything in creation. They hate thinking of the fact that He made them, which would mean they are accountable to Him at judgment for their words, their deeds, their lives. They squash their conscience when they do evil.

Continue reading “Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience”
Posted in gospel

Peace, or trouble? Repentance is the key

Zechariah 14:9 says:

And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”

The saints know Jesus is coming soon. We are excited to see what He is doing in the world. Not that people are in pain or distress, obviously, but rather that His name is on the lips of many. His glory and power are noticed, and His word is repeated between and among believers and non-believers alike. This ‘crazy time’ isn’t crazy. It is a controlled series of events from the Creator of people, the Creator of the earth and all that is in it. He is telling us something. How many warnings will there be? Not many more, I fear. He has been patient with us, kind and generous. That period of warning will end and after the rapture, the judgments will begin.

Continue reading “Peace, or trouble? Repentance is the key”
Posted in hell, theology

Will they repent in hell? Will they finally be sorry?

By Elizabeth Prata

Sometimes we think that when people die outside of Jesus and they earn their final resting place in the fires of hell, they will be sorry. That at least we might have the comfort of knowing they see Jesus for who He really is, see their sin for what it was, and repent. Everyone should bow to Jesus in true repentance, and so, we might be tempted to come up with a fantasy of everyone being sorry and being contrite and repentant in the end.

Will the abuser be sorrowful for his deeds against his family?
Will the molester be repenting for his evil?
Will the serial adulterer be sad for what he did to his wife?
Will the neglectful parent be contrite for their perfidy?

No. They will not.

They will not repent in hell.

But this gives us two lessons.

1. Never underestimate the power of sin.
2. The hell-dwellers’ unrepentance should make us love Jesus for the savior He is. We need a power outside of us to bring us to repentance.

First, what in the Bible tells me they will not repent? Do I even have grounds for saying so? Hell is a very powerful motivator, isn’t it?

First, the Pharisees knew Jesus was from God. Nicodemus said to Jesus that ‘We know you’re from God…” (John 3:2). They personally saw His miracles. For example, no one had ever, in the history of time, been healed of blindness. (John 10:21). Yet they would not repent despite clear proof and sure knowledge of Hades. They saw Jesus for who He is, and refused to repent.

Lazarus’s Rich Man…he lived an expensive life of wealth and comfort. Lazarus the poor man lay at the rich man’s gate begging, with sores. When Lazarus died he went to Abraham’s bosom and a peaceful rest. The Rich Man went to Hades and torment.

Yet the Rich Man kept ordering Abraham to “send” Lazarus topside to perform tasks for him. Even though the situation was explained to the Rich Man, that he’d had his comforts and now Lazarus was receiving his, the Rich Man displayed not an ounce of compassion or generosity for poor Lazarus. He just kept wanting to disturb Lazarus from his rest to go do more stuff for the Rich Man.

In Revelation 16:9, it says,

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

They knew the plagues were supernatural and further, they know it was God’s doing. They did not repent. The Tribulation is hell on earth, wrath poured out. What makes anyone think that if someone is removed to a different location, hell under the earth instead of on the earth, that at last they would be sorry?

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Luke 13:3 above indicates the timeline. Repent, OR perish. The time for repentance is topside. (Not that any person can change locations after death, but even repentance will not be possible, nor remorse.) The Rich Man was only sorry that his brothers might have to come to Hades, but he never said he was remorseful for anything he had done.

1. Never underestimate the power of sin in an unregenerated heart.

Eve and Adam sinned. They personally knew God. They lived in a perfect state of being- emotionally and physically. They sinned.

Lucifer was the most beautiful, the most high angel. He dwelled in glory in close proximity to God. He watched the power of God create the universe. Yet, Lucifer sinned.

Sin is the most powerful force in the universe under God. Sin enslaves. What can enslave a person? Something so powerful you cannot extricate yourself. A force beyond your control or ability to cope. That’s powerful.

Sin kills. That’s powerful.

People underestimate sin’s draw. They dabble. They worship their sin. They succumb to temptation. Sin is powerful.

2. Therefore, hell-dwellers’ unrepentance should make us love Jesus all the more for the Savior He is. Without Him, no one would be saved! We need a power outside of us to bring us to repentance. Grace is MORE powerful!! He chose to save us, despite our unrepentance and our hell-bound trajectory. He saved us with grace, grace, grace. What relief! What joy!

No, repent while you can, While the Light is here, before the darkness comes…while it is day, before the night.

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7).

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. (John 12:35)

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Here is a VERY sobering essay from Banner of Truth:

The Lake of Fire: What’s It Like, Who Goes There, and Why?



Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

The exclusivity of Jesus

One of the most hated, if not THE most hated doctrine of Christianity, is the exclusivity of Jesus. This doctrine is the one that states Jesus is the only way to heaven. You cannot get to heaven by your own works, family relations, church attendance, other god, other religion, or any other method except to repent of your sins and believe in the resurrected Jesus by faith alone through grace alone.

I receive some arched eyebrows, heated responses, and hate mail for saying so, some from my own family. “Away with dogma!” my aunt grandly proclaimed, right before she blocked me. Same with other family members. But these responses are no worse than anybody else’s experiences and a great deal less hurtful than what others have endured, I’m sure.

But whether the negative response about the exclusivity of Jesus is from a stranger, friend, or family member, the fact is the same, Jesus is the only way to heaven. He is the only God. He is the only source of life. He is the only truth. It is about Him and no other.

Would God the Father have sent His Son to die on a cross, the most horrific and excruciatingly humiliating method of torture and execution ever devised at that time, if there was any other way?

Did God care for Jesus so little that He sent His Son to live a perfect life, and die as the blood sacrifice required, and endure all the wrath for those sins, just so He could allow us to choose from other methods of gaining entrance to heaven just because we felt like it? Is this Let’s Make A Deal, the old game show with contestants choosing from Door Number one, Door Number Two, or Door Number Three?


Does the Bible lie when it states over and over that there is only one way?

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9).

I know that people aren’t insulted with the idea that Jesus is the only way because they care that there is only one way. There are lots of things that are only one way of achieving things, and people are fine with that. If you want to become a lawyer, you have to pass the bar. If you want to be a doctor you have to get a certificate. If you want to drive certain places, there is only one road to get there. We don’t get choices for a lot of things.

People get upset because of the way that Jesus represents. This apoplectic, spittle flying, white of the eyes rolling fits people have over Jesus is because of what is involved with His way. It is spelled with three letters. S-I-N. People absolutely hate to be called sinners. They pillory those who say that they are not qualified for heaven. They attack the concept that we will be judged. They hate Jesus because they hate His way.

This is because satan has blinded their minds, and they are completely under his influence, and satan hates Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:4). So those who are satan’s also hate Jesus.

Why do I believe Jesus is the only way?

I believe Jesus is the only way because He said so.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

So Jesus is either a liar, or He is telling the truth. I assure you, He is not lying.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)


Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Throwback- Repentance brings blessing

A version of this essay was first published on The End Time in December 2011


hand made cross 2
EPrata photo

I listened to a very good sermon on Sunday afternoon. Don Green is [was] the pastor of the Grace Life section of the Grace Community Church of John MacArthur. Green’s preaching Sunday on the “The Call to Repentance” was an eye opener. The verses were from the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5 and also Matthew 4:17.

His theme was not what you might expect. Repent, yes, but the call to repentance always has with it another part to the message, one that is often forgotten. When Jesus calls people to repent, there is always a blessing associated with it.

Pastor Green’s point was that we of course should call people to repent, yes, but do not forget to tell them they are blessed if they do! Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is the summary statement of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In the sermon, He is explaining what repentance means. The verse from Matthew 4 is the summation, but the Sermon is Jesus explicitly teaching what He meant regarding repentance. Matthew 5:3-9, for example, is linked to the Matthew 4:17 verse in that Jesus now gets specific about what happens to a person on the inside when they repent.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Look how many blessings come when a person repents and allows the Holy Spirit to change them on the inside! Jesus ended His sermon with reminding us that it IS an internal change. He said in verse 20:

“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 23:13). The scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day, but they were only righteous on the outside, with what they wore and what they said and how they acted. Their internal state was not one of humble repentance, and as a result they were cursed, not blessed.

The call to repentance is to:
–turn away from sin toward biblical righteousness
–in order to give irrevocable allegiance to Jesus
–and to receive divine blessing

Pastor Green’s sermon focused on understanding the third point, that with repentance comes blessing, and this shapes the way we explain the Gospel to people.

We call for repentance and warn of the justice from the Highest Court in the universe, from the most perfect Judge. Punishment for sins is real and must be declared to the unbeliever. This is our duty. But don’t leave it there, Pastor Green urged. Because love is part of the equation, too. Jesus blesses His children. He bought us with His blood as pardon from the justice they would likewise receive but instead blesses them when they do repent.

Nine times in Matthew 5 (NASB) Jesus used the word “blessed”. Nine blessings are pronounced! Also in Matthew 11, Matthew 13, Matthew 24, more blessedness is offered to those who do not take offense at Jesus, to those upon those who see and hear the message, and on those slaves who are doing the Father’s will. The change brought about at repentance comes with is blessings that start there and continue on the growing believer.

When you share the Gospel, love them enough to tell them of the justice for the sins, but also love them enough to tell them of the Lord’s blessings waiting upon them if they do repent. This is a good lesson for me, too.

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Is America ‘called 2 fall’ on our faces as it says in 2 Chronicles?

Today, Sunday, July 2, a nationwide effort is underway to get people/churches to fall on their faces and pray in repentance and for God to heal America. The movement is biblically based, so the organizations says, because the movement is founded on the verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14,

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The movemenent is titled Call2Fall and the website FAQ is here

From the website:

Q – What’s involved?
A – The Call2Fall is not a fancy program or a big show. Simply set aside a definite time during worship on July 2, 2017 when you call your people to get on their knees and faces before the Lord in repentant prayer for God to reshape our lives and renew our land. Click here for free church resources that may be helpful.

Q – Who can join?
A – Call2Fall on our knees is for every Christ-follower in America. Specifically, there are multiplied millions of believers who realize that America is in trouble and that neither Washington nor Wall Street has the answers. We are hoping that at least 40,000 churches will join in a corporate act of humility, repentance, and desperate prayer on our knees before the Lord.

Q – Why a Call2Fall?
A – First, the Scriptures teach it. The key verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14…

The first requirement on the path to renewal is to “humble ourselves,” to fall on our knees and faces before the Lord in repentant prayer. Over and over the Scriptures teach this. Click here for examples.

Second, our history records it. Our founding fathers sensed the need for a Call2Fall in view of the monumental struggle we were engaged in with Britain. The First Continental Congress called for a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer throughout the Colonies on July 20th, 1775 just after war broke out.

“Christ-follower” Sigh. Never mind the comment about what our Founding Fathers “sensed.” Most of them were either atheists, libertines, or deists who believed in a different Jesus.

Is a call to prayer wrong? No. Is calling the people to repent wrong? No. However, basing a movement such as this on the verse from Chronicles is wrong, because this is one of the most misused, out of context verses in the entire Bible.

The verse that the Call2Fall movement is founded upon is a verse that is aimed directly at Israel, not America.

Here are three men with theological essays explaining what exactly was happening in history before and after the 2 Chronicles 7:14 verse and then explaining the verse correctly. I’d encourage you to click on one or all of the links and read their piece in its entirety.

The second issue is that though we might love where we live, and we are grateful the Lord raised up nations (and puts them down) (Acts 17:26), we are citizens of heaven. Our minds should be trained on the fact that we are part of a global body, an invisible kingdom of which there is a King who reigns. We love America, but please watch out that excessive patriotism hasn’t made an idol of the Stars and Stripes. Many nations have come and gone within just my lifetime. Here is a list from Business Insider of 9 countries that ceased to exist in the 20th century. There are tons of countries that have gone away, ceased to exist, changed names, expanded or contracted borders, or simply vanished. Biafra, Bundu, Tibet, Alsace-Lorraine, Bremen, USSR, Yugoslavia, Rhodesia, and many other nations have lived, thrived, and died in the 20th century. How does a former Rhodesian pray the 2 Chronicles prayer? If someone does pray the 2 Chronicles prayer, the answer might be unexpected. The Lord DID heal East Germany, by wiping it from the map and uniting it with West Germany.

America’s borders have changed dramatically in just the 241 years of our own existence. What I’m saying is it is not wrong to love your country. It’s just that we shouldn’t get too attached to it.

Here are some essays explaining the context of the 1Chronicles verse-

Steve Kozar at Pirate Christian Media:
Frequently abused and misused Bible verses

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Again, this is not a universal promise to all believers in all times. This verse starts in the middle of a sentence-that should give you a clue that it is being taken out of context. This promise is given specifically to God’s covenant people Israel, and it shouldn’t be universally applied to the church, or especially to any nation.

Truthfully, we are blessed much more so in our time, because of Jesus and His sacrifice to atone for our sins-no matter which country we live in, or how much worldly prosperity we have or don’t have.

Delivered by Grace, Josh Buice
Butchered Bible Verses

Explanation of how the text is misused-

As we’re getting near the summer, we can expect to hear sermons from preachers who, with good intentions, will cite 2 Chronicles 7:14 or preach an entire message on that single verse while applying it to America. Most of the time it’s an attempt to demonstrate the need for repentance in our nation. At times we hear of preachers who use this verse to call out our national position on abortion, and in most recent days, our President’s opinion about homosexual marriage. As we examine the text, it is abundantly clear that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not speaking about America – the home of the brave!

Explanation of the text
The wrong application of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is to lift it out of its context and apply it to America or any other single nation. Anytime we attach a text of Scripture to America, we must be extremely cautious. Because in that act we are saying this is a reference to God’s promise for America when in reality – it isn’t. The key is found in two specific places in the text.

1. The verse begins by a key reference to “my people.” This is not a reference to all people in America or any other nation, because we know that by that phrase the Chronicler was referencing the people of God – specifically of Israel.

2. Within that framework, the people of God were under judgment for sin. This involved pestilence, drought, and exile from their land. It would be wrong to suggest that America is under judgment, as the children of God, and that God is calling us BACK to Him. For the most part, America has never known God, so God isn’t calling America to come BACK. If anything, God is commanding unbelievers in America to repent, but they don’t need a rededication card at the end of a service around July 4th, they need a new heart created by the Spirit of God, paid for by the Son of God, and accomplished by the will of God the Father.

Empowered by Christ, Richard Haas
Is 2 Chronicles 7:14 for us today?

As always context must be our rule of thumb when dealing with any verse or group of verses in the Bible. So Let’s take a quick look at the context around this verse. Understand that the construction of the first temple in Jerusalem had just been completed. King Solomon led a massive week-long celebration to dedicate the temple. When the people returned to their homes following the celebration, we read the following:

If you continue reading the remaining verses in 2 Chronicles 7, it becomes abundantly clear that this was a particular promise made by God to the Jewish people during the time of the first temple.

As it can, we see the use of this verse is quite a bit different than Christians using this verse as a promise from God to fix the problems in the United States of America.

I think there are certain principles we can use from 2 Chronicles 7:14. Such as, it is always a good thing for God’s people to humble themselves and pray for their nation. As Christians, we absolutely should and need to pray for our nation; this is biblical. We also can learn from this text that as Christians we should pray for our neighbors, friends, loved ones, and even our politicians–even the ones we don’t agree with (1 Timothy 2:1–4). It would be wonderful if every Christian would humble himself or herself and pray for our nation.

However, we must understand that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not a divine promise to Christians in the United States today that God will fix our nation. We don’t have such a guarantee in Scripture. We must always be careful to make sure we use verses in the proper context. Remember the three rules of proper biblical hermeneutics; Context, Context, and Context.

Here is an explanation of what 2 Chronicles 7:14 means from GotQuestions-

What is the meaning of 2 Chronicles 7:14

The key to understanding any verse of Scripture is context. There is the immediate context—the verses before and after it, as well as the larger context of Scripture—how the verse fits into the overall story….

The immediate context of 2 Chronicles 7:14 shows that the verse is tied up with Israel and the temple and the fact that from time to time God might send judgment upon the land in the form of drought, locusts, or pestilence.

When ancient Israel repented and sought the Lord, they were doing so en masse. The nation as a whole repented. Obviously not every single Israelite repented and prayed, but still it was national repentance. There was never any indication that a small minority of the nation (a righteous remnant) could repent and pray and that the fate of the entire nation would change. God promised deliverance when the entire nation repented.

Here is some food for thought by John MacArthur as to whether the American Revolution was even biblical.

Why Government Can’t Save You

Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That’s why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the argumentation of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights. Therefore those believers say such rights are part of a Christian worldview, worth attaining and defending at all costs, including military insurrection at times. But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings that God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers.

John MacArthur
The Christian’s Responsibility to Government

But Christians, even though they have struggled to answer the question of what is their relationship to government, have not always answered it properly. And throughout the history of the church, there have been revolutions in the name of Christianity where people decided that the Christian thing to do was to revolt militarily against the government that’s in power, and demand their rights. There have even been wars in the name of Christianity.

And so Christians have struggled with this, and sometimes they have rightly understood what their role was, and sometimes they have overturned their God-given role and become revolutionary. There has been violation of law in the name of Christianity. I don’t know if you realize this, but there have been, even in our own country, certain law violations, civil disobedience, subversive attempts to overthrow the powers that be on a local level, a state level, or a national level that in some cases were led by people who claimed to be Christians, all of this in the name of Christ.

We should fall on our faces not because we’re using 2 Chronicles 7:14 out of context, but because Matthew 28:19 says to make disciples of all nations-

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

Because Acts 1:8 says to make disciples to the ends of the earth-

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Because Mark 16:15 says we preach the Gospel to every creature-

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We are not called to fall because we misuse the 2 Chronicles verse but because we love the LORD, because we understand His word in context, and we are mindful of the fleeting nature of nations and boundaries and nations, and because know the eternality of the saved in heaven.


Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The Greatest Revival That Ever Will Be?

Yesterday I looked at what true revival looks like. True revivals are far from the superficially but temporarily euphoric “revivals” we have sadly become used to. Jonathan Edwards wrote about the massive and immediate deep changes that occurred during the Great Awakening. In reading his “A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton,” written in 1737, we learned that new converts and those who were revived all had one major thing in common: an awareness of their sin and a growing hatred for it. The outgrowth of this fact is that people became more temperate, taverns emptied while the pastor’s house filled. Neighbors became loving helpers of one another, and left off their previous bitter gossip, and so on. The change was overnight, that was one of the “surprising” things Edwards remarked upon.

So the hallmarks of a true revival include awareness of sin, understanding of the wrath of God for it, and a relief and love of the grace that has been bestowed in spite of it.

Those were also the hallmark of another major revival in the Bible, though not the one I’ll focus on mainly today. In an essay I wrote recently, “What was the greatest revival ever?” the Ninevites responded to God’s message through Jonah by repenting in dust and ashes. Through Jonah, God had foretold coming judgment, and the worst people on the planet at that time people believed him.

And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. (Jonah 3:5).

As a revival continues, the people remain in Christ, they continue in good works (the evidence of saving faith), and they give glory to God in all they do and say.

If Nineveh was the greatest revival that ever was, what is the greatest revival there ever will be?

The Great Tribulation.

There are prophecies remaining to be fulfilled. Most of them were fulfilled in Christ, praise God. The prophecies remaining are:

The rapture of the Church,1 Corinthians 15:51-53, (the church members, living and dead caught away to heaven to be enclosed and protected from the judgment of the Tribulation.)

The Tribulation, the promised wrath and judgment upon the world for sin. Daniel 9:24-27 has the reasons and the outline of what is to happen. So does Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. Many prophecies are to be fulfilled during this 7 year period. The antichrist will come, who will be a real man, the false prophet, the great apostasy, an uncreation of the earth, the Two Prophets (likely Elijah and Enoch), the 144,000, Mark of the Beast, Armageddon, and so on, all occur during this time.

The judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This occurs in heaven and it involves assessing believers in their faithfulness in service to Christ, not a judgment for sin.

Return of Jesus: AKA The second Coming. At the close of the Tribulation, Jesus returns in power and glory and smites the armies at Armageddon. This concludes the Church Age, or the Last Times/End Times.

The judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31–46) where Jesus judges the nations for how they treated Israel and also judges who is to enter the Millennial Kingdom, the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. Since believers and non-believers alike will be alive at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will sift one from the other, and cast non-believers into hell and believers will be granted entry into the 1000 year Kingdom.

Millennial Kingdom: Jesus is alive and reigning over the world and Israel is living within all the promises made to that nation of people, their lands, their King and their identity all intact and thriving. More here.

The Eternal State: After the Millennial Age,  eternity begins. It is prophesied that the earth will melt in a fervent heat and be remade. (2 Peter 3:10). All prophecies will have been fulfilled. After that, there is nothing in the Bible that tells us what we will be doing or what the next Age will be like.

Back to the greatest revival that ever will be.

People think that when the rapture happens, there will no longer be any chance for people to be saved. That there will not be salvation during the Tribulation. The opposite is true. The greatest revival ever will occur. It will be a time of evangelism unparalleled in our human history.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9).

But are these people from the Tribulation? How do we know they aren’t just believers from the Church Age?

A little further along in Revelation that question is answered for us:

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14)

And this:

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. (Revelation 6:9)

God is always working to bring people to His Son. At no time does the Spirit cease drawing souls to glory. During the Tribulation, though it will literally be hell on earth, a time that will be shocking and upsetting in the extreme (Luke 21:26, Matthew 24:22), people will be saved. They will be truly saved, not false converts. We know that they’ll be true, because though they know they will die, they praise the Lamb and remain true to His glory even unto martyrdom. (John 15:13).

Psalm 145:3, Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

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Further Reading:

The Last Great Awakening

Will there be a second chance for salvation after the Rapture?

Will the Church go through The Tribulation?